Monday, 16 July 2012

Postcards From Marbella Part 1 - Getting There

Dear Reader, 

A combination of sporting events, weddings and lofty goals have recently kept me quiet. When I say quiet, what I mean to say is I have been recovering from hangovers in darkened rooms for what seems like weeks.

Time to emerge, blinking into the sunlight, like a mole who set his alarm wrong, or an underground traveller on a sunny day.

Oooh, it's a bit bright out here!

Let's begin with the wedding... it is no ordinary wedding, as if there is such a thing. The thing that makes this special (apart from the people, obviously) is the venue. Not the church itself (although it was pretty damn spectacular) but the location. It is in Marbella, Spain.

Marbella, from this point forward shall be referred to as Marbs, not because I am a lazy but because the Dear Lady Wife has just learnt the cast of her favourite program are filming there. They refer to it as Marbs, so Marbs it is. Who am I to argue with the collective intellect that is the cast of The Only Way Is Essex?

The location implies an extended wedding agenda, including pre-meet, wedding and post party. Basically a wedding over three days, which is fine. It also means travel, my least favourite form of travel, the foreign variety.

To get to this wedding I, and the DLW have to to get on a plane which will whisk us to our destination. This should be the easy bit, however before this can happen we have to book flights, we have to book hotels and then we have to prepare.

To avoid total meltdown due to stress we split into two teams, I get flights, DLW gets accommodation. I do well, within one hour of starting the process, I have narrowed down the list of possibilities from many to some. To the untrained eye, this might not seem like a lot of progress, but trust me it is. I have eliminated all return flight options due to either the departure or return time being unacceptable. I have booked the outbound flight and I am working on the return.

This is not me, but the smoke is pretty accurate.

Having used the word meltdown in the previous paragraph, it can be assumed that I find this sort of thing stressful. I hate filling out forms; when it comes to searching for a flight, let alone booking one, there are many forms. If I actually book a flight, there are many more. To deal with this stress a bottle of wine may have been opened, followed by another. I am not certain how many, but this information has been verified and logged by UN trained observers. 

There is a point in time when you should stop trying to make purchases on the internet under the influence of wine. UN trained observers should step in. They should say something UN trained observer like. "Son, you've booked enough flights for one night. Come back tomorrow." Or something similar. They didn't, so I made a mistake.

I was searching for a one way flight from Marbs back to the UK, I made the mistake of attempting to do this through the providers website. If I searched for flights returning on the Saturday, then a red line of text would appear saying, we haven't got anything on the date specified but here is a totally unrelated flight to a different destination a year later which you might be interested in. OK, you have an eccentric search engine. If I wanted a flight in 2014 from Dubrovnik I probably would have asked for it, but no matter, you have alerted me to this in big red letters.

Dubrovnik, looks lovely, should go, but I need to be in Marbs.
I actually wanted to return on the Sunday so I changed the search criteria. Do you know what that nasty website did? It suggested a random flight, without the warning message. In a frenzy of excitement I booked it. It was not until I printed the confirmation email, having handed over a large amount of cash I realised that I and the DLW would be flying from Dubrovnik at some point in 2014.

This, to the untrained eye, may make me appear to be a complete idiot. This is why you should not book flights under the influence of wine. Booking flights is like operating heavy machinery, dangerous if you are using medication.

So, I need to cancel. Which means I need to speak to a human, and the human operated telephone service closed for the evening 30 minutes ago. I have failed in my task and I must reconvene the following day.

This experience deserves a post all its own. It has a working title Would I rather stick cocktail sticks in my eye or cancel a flight with a budget airline I booked whilst tipsy the night before.... Discuss. Like I said, its just a working title.

Suffice to say, the cancellation was agreed, an appropriate flight was purchased, we are on our way.

This feels like a lot of words already Dear Reader. This is going to be an epic with a number of parts.

More soon xxx


  1. Awh.... I hope your arrangements for the wedding get sorted out somehow. Why don't you just use a travel agent?

  2. Travel agent, hmmm, bear with me.... Had to google it, someone will do this for you?!? Where would the fun be in that :)

  3. Mr B would have been proud of you. At least you avoided the outcome. Mr B confronts them head on.


    1. Mr B always had a penchant for travel related disasters. This may be something I learned from him.

  4. And this is only part one?! It's nice to be reminded we are all human. Thanks. Looking forward to the rest of the adventure and revelation(s).

    1. In what can only be described as a frenzy of activity (by my standards) the second episode of this epic has already landed (unlike the protagonists).